'Tis the season for all fruit, all the time. On this week's "Things Cooks Know," hosts Sarah Humphreys and Sarah Karnasiewicz discuss one of our favorite summer desserts: the fruit pie. If you're making one for a picnic or just a post-dinner treat, use these simple cooking tricks to make your filling even sweeter and the crust even flakier.
1. Add egg to your pie crust. This ingredient might surprise you, but adding one large egg to your dough will make the dough silkier and easier to work with. (Find more tips for the perfect pie crust here.)
2. Keep your ingredients ice cold. Your flour, butter, and lard (if you're using it) should be chilled, or even frozen before you start working. This will keep the granules of fat in the dough distinct without melting, which will result in a flakier crust. This even applies to your workspace—don't make your pie on the counter above the dishwasher, you want the space to be as cool as possible.
3. Try fresh herbs. Season your pie filling with fresh herbs for a flavor that really stands out. You don't need a lot—a few tablespoons of chopped herbs will do the trick.
4. Don't forget the go-to ingredients. For any pie, you will need a little bit of sugar (not too much—fruit is sweet as it is), citrus zest for added freshness and bright flavors, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. A secret ingredient: Toss the berries with tapioca pearls or corn starch for a filling that's a little less soupy and easier to cut into.
For more tips and tricks, listen to the full episode below, and try out our favorite pie recipes, from blueberry to cherry. Don't forget to subscribe and review the show on iTunes!